Dental implants can be used to replace one or more teeth, for instance if you have lost a tooth in a sporting accident. They can be an alternative to a removable denture, or bridgework. Some people find removable dentures uncomfortable, particularly for eating and speaking. Conventional bridgework often involves cutting the teeth either side of the missing tooth, while dental implants can provide a fixed tooth without involving the neighbouring teeth.
Implants can also help if you have uncomfortable or wobbly dentures. There are various methods of using the implants to secure dentures, using clasps or bars to fix the denture to the implant. It will then fit securely, giving you the confidence to smile, speak and enjoy your favourite foods again. You can remove the denture for cleaning as normal.
A dental implant is a small post made of titanium that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It is placed into the jaw and the bone attaches to the implant. Once integrated, we can fasten crowns, bridges or dentures to this artificial root.
Only a minor operation is required to place an implant. This is usually carried out with a local anaesthetic. After the operation, most people report only minor discomfort similar to that experienced after a simple tooth extraction. This is easily controlled by painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. There are usually some stitches that can be removed after a few days.
We can give you a provisional timetable before treatment begins. The implant has to bond to the bone, this can take between three and six months. During this time you will have a temporary restoration. If you have complete dentures then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after surgery.
Implants are made from materials accepted by the tissues of the body. Present day implants have a very high success rate. Like natural teeth they will last well as long as they are well looked after.
In most cases the cost of an implant is a little higher than bridgework options, but the expense must be evaluated against the many advantages of implant treatment.
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Here is a before and after example of how dental implants look and how we make sure they blend in with your existing teeth.